Food, Inc. Film Review

Given that Unwrapped is still airing on Food Network, I would be inclined to believe that people are curious about the origin of the food they eat. Unlike the sugarcoated reality that makes Unwrapped so appealing to watch, Food, Inc. takes a more serious approach that will make you think twice about the food you are eating. This 2008 documentary examines serious issues surrounding modern farming techniques and industrial production of meat and is nicely broken into several segments to prevent it from dragging on.

If meat production was not enough of a hint, I should make it clear that viewers should be prepared to watch footage of animals being slaughtered as well as the cruel conditions animals are being forced to live in. It really is odd seeing chickens collapse because their legs are unable to support their body weight due to irregular growth from being genetically modified. Will watching the treatment of farm animals make you want to consider becoming a vegetarian? Perhaps, but as Food, Inc. goes on to explain, not even vegetables are safe from the changes that have occurred in farming. This can be seen in the number of E. Coli outbreaks within the past 20 or so years. This documentary heavily endorses purchasing food at a farmer’s market as apparently that is practically the only safe place to get it from.

Food, Inc. starts to feel like an advertisement for farmer’s markets by the end of the documentary. Although there is nothing wrong with these places, I feel that it takes away from the well thought out argument that the film is trying to prove. Something needs to be done about the modern state of farming. Is it possible to revert back to old fashion farming techniques without the risk of a low food supply? Can there be more inspections to prevent the outbreak of contaminated food? I suppose that the conditions farm animals live in can also be improved. Maybe I am just being cynical, but how important are living conditions when the animal is just going to end up slaughtered? Food, Inc. was an interesting documentary and should be watched by anyone who eats food.

Best Worst Movie Film Review

I have never watched “Troll 2” and with good reason, many consider it to be the worst movie ever made. “Best Worst Movie” gathers all of the cast members from “Troll 2” to investigate how such a movie even came into existence, or at least that is what the description on Netflix/Amazon states. Instead, this documentary focuses on how the actors and crew members feel about the movie years later and their reactions to the cult phenomenon. It was absolutely fascinating to listen to the actors talk about the confusion and disappointment they felt once they finally had the chance to watch the movie they worked on.

“Best Worst Movie” is directed by Michael Stephenson, who was the child star of “Troll 2”. It was bizarre listening to him explain how his hopes and dreams of being a successful actor were ruined by having any sort of association with this film. Some actors still tried to pursue careers after the film such as Connie Young, who refuses to put “Troll 2” on her resume. The documentary places a lot of focus on George Hardy who seems to be the one of the few cast members living a fulfilling life. While he ended up pursuing a career in dentistry, it was nice knowing that “Troll 2” did not ruin the life of every person who worked on it.

The director of “Troll 2” says that the goal of a movie should be to evoke emotion. I do not trust the advice of someone responsible for creating such a bad movie, but that seems like a worthwhile goal. Seeing the actors going from disappointed to enthusiastic once “Troll 2” became a cult classic, left me feeling happy. “Best Worst Movie” is definitely worth a watch and left me wanting to experience “Troll 2” for myself.

Matilda Film Review

In a twisted world without child protection services and despicable parenting, Matilda is desperate to get revenge on everyone who has wronged her. Well, maybe the story is not that dark. “Matilda” is yet another movie based off a Roald Dahl children’s book. It is a lighthearted book about a girl with a passion for books who is neglected by her parents and abused by her headmistress, Miss Trunchbull at school. The only person to truly recognize Matilda’s special gifts is her teacher, Miss Honey. The film is a bit darker than the book but does a great job of capturing the story.

If there is one thing that the film succeeds at is that it completely captures how intolerable Matilda’s parents and Miss Trunchbull are. The performances are rage-inducing and show how innocent Matilda is. The camera angles are dizzying at times, but give the film a surreal quality, making everything feel like an exaggeration. Every character is over-the-top, especially Miss Trunchbull who tosses a girl by her hair, nearly hits people with darts and even locks Matilda in the “Chokey”, a closet surrounded in nails. At times it is easy to wonder how much further the torture could have gone if the primary audience was not children.

On the opposite side of the spectrum are Matilda and Miss Honey who are the only characters that provide hope. Hope that things can change and that something positive can happen in a truly negative world.